Wednesday, January 31, 2018


Sermon Notes for January 28, 2018 

Read Deuteronomy 18:15-20 and Mark 1:21-28.

Authority. It can be one of those trigger words, can't it?

Some people hear authority and think of police and safety and law and order. Some people hear it and feel repressed, as though they are having flashbacks to that really strict teacher in middle school. Other people hear the word authority and automatically want to rebel against it. And then there are the people who love authority, but only when they are the ones who have it.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

After the Fish

Sermon Notes for January 21, 2018 

Read Mark 1:14-20 and Jonah 3:1-5, 3:10-4:4.

The book of Jonah is one of the funniest satires in the Bible. It was written as a parable, a story to teach a lesson, much as the book of Job was. Jonah teaches us about the wideness of God's grace and the limits of human prophets.

When we  hear the name Jonah, we think about the fish, right? Or the whale depending on who was telling the story. God told him to go preach to the Ninevites, and instead Jonah runs in the opposite direction. He ends up on a boat in the middle of a storm God sent, and in an effort to save the boat and the other people on it, is flung off the boat and eaten by a fish. He stays in the fish for three days until it finally spits it back up onto the beach and God says again “Go and preach to the Ninevites.”

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Here I Am

Sermon Notes for January 14, 2018 

Read 1 Samuel 3:1-20 and John 1:43-51 .

"The word of the Lord was rare in those days...."

That sounds familiar, doesn't it? We tend to think of the word of the Lord being pretty rare right now. But did that mean that God had really withdrawn from Israel? Historians can stack up the reasons why God might well have decided to ignore those people at that time. But then again, they certainly were not behaving in a way that indicated that they had been listening. Had God continued to be reaching out, and they just were too busy listening to their own voices and desires to pay attention? Are we?

When we feel lonely, abandoned, stuck in a situation without solution, can we hear God's voice? Or, when we feel complete, secure, satisfied, do we bother to listen? Whose voice do we listen to when we are trying to make a decision?

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Following Stars

Sermon Notes for January 7, 2018

Read Ephesians 3:1-12 and Matthew 2:1-12

Today we celebrate Epiphany, even if it was technically yesterday. Twelve days of Christmas the song goes, and after the last of those days is Epiphany. The word is actually Greek and means manifestation of the divine.  God appearing among us. Over the centuries it has come to mean a sudden insight or understanding, supposedly as God reveals something new to us.

Epiphany asks the question: Where do we see God to be present among and in us? What are the signs of the sacred among us? It is with that quest, that search, that discovery, that we concern ourselves today as we consider these wise men.